28 Nov 2009

Smith praises Maori Party 'integrity' in talks

6:08 pm on 28 November 2009

Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith has praised the Maori Party for helping National get changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) through Parliament.

Dr Smith told Waatea News that while every private discussion he had with Labour on the ETS appeared in the media the next day, the Maori Party MPs conducted themselves impeccably throughout their talks.

"Yes, they bargained hard," he says, "and yes, they had issues they felt strongly about, but there was an integrity and a mana there that I think too many in the media and in the broader community underestimate."

Mr Smith says that without Maori Party support National would have had to do a deal with ACT and action on climate change would have been deferred for a year.

Maori Party betrayed supporters - Horomia

Labour's Tairawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says, however, that the Maori Party betrayed its supporters by voting for the bill.

The former Minister of Maori Affairs says it failed to tell the public where the money for the scheme will come from.

In her latest newsletter to supporters, Maori Party MP Rahui Katene says the party still prefers a carbon tax but accepted the reality that there would be an emissions trading scheme that the public would pay for through either higher taxes or higher prices.